Beyond the Microwave: 15 Ways to Love Like Jesus, Part 7
Lately our microwave hasn’t been working. To reheat something takes 2-4x’s as long as normal. It’s time for a new microwave. In the meantime, I grow impatient. I want things fast, easy, and quick. I get impatient if I’m stuck behind a driver going five miles under the speed limit. I grow impatient if I have to wait longer than a minute for something to heat up. I’m inclined to give up on something when I don’t see results immediately.
This is not the kind of love that Jesus calls me to exhibit. Jesus didn’t pop love into the microwave for sixty seconds and expect instantaneous results. Love takes time to grow. You can’t expect a sapling to become a tree overnight. Love takes an investment. Love takes supernatural strength. We look to Jesus for how to live and love others.
Read John 13:1-13.
It amazes me that Jesus was so patient with His followers, and how patient God is with me. He takes His time with people, investing in people without expecting anything in return, and yet He desires relationship with them.
Verse 2 tells us that the Devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot to betray Jesus. In verse 11, we learn Jesus already knows who will betray Him. I don’t know about you, but I sure don’t wash the feet of the people who have betrayed me, and I certainly don’t actively serve the people whom I know in advance are going to hurt me.
The Bible says “love is longsuffering” (1 Corinthians 13:4). Luke 6:28 (NLV) says, “Love those who work against you.” While I don’t consciously think of my husband as an enemy, I don’t always feel like “acting good” when he’s hurt me.
Your husband is not the enemy. The Devil is. Your human nature, apart from Christ, is to only love those who love you. No one’s perfect, and sometimes, ladies, our husbands will fail us. The important thing is to remember how to love like Jesus. Marriage isn’t about what you get out of it, but what you put into it.
How to Love Like J.E.S.U.S.
J – Love Joyfully
- Loosen up. Find time to relax together at least for a few minutes every day – unwind over your favorite meal, read separately while holding hands, watch a TV program together while cuddling, or listen about each other’s days while giving each other 5-minute massages.
- Live it up. Enjoy life together. Make fun a regular part of your weekends. Use playful innuendos and inside jokes throughout the week. Celebrate the little things. Find pleasure in each others’ presence.
- Let it out. Make time for sexual intimacy frequently. Be creative. Try new things. Rejoice in the person you married, and experience the fullness of holy intimacy unleashed.
E – Love Enduringly
- Look at the big picture. Think about this question when you’re arguing with your husband: is this issue really worth it in the light of eternity? If the answer is no, let it go.
- Lessen conflict by recognizing things take time. Don’t expect your spouse or your marriage to change overnight. Take little steps to overcoming bigger problems, and celebrate little victories.
- Lock onto the things that matter most. Despite my husband’s stubbornness and idiosyncrasies, I still love him and I know he still loves me. Focus on what matters – your love for one another. Let him know he’s special.
S – Love Selflessly
- Lose the negative attitude. Think positively toward your husband, and focus on his good traits and qualities.
- Labor even when you’re not going to get credit for it. Do good for your husband without looking for recognition.
- Lay the leverage aside. Don’t hold things over his head. Don’t use past problems lead you to bitterness. Don’t inflict punishment on him when he wrongs you. Forgive willingly.
U – Love Unpretentiously
- Lead with him, not against him. Recognize and affirm his strengths. Encourage his spiritual leadership. Allow him to make decisions for your family as the head of the household. Make room in your home and heart for his input.
- Live within your limits. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it, and be content with what you have.
- Leave the pride behind. Humble yourself and admit when you were wrong.
S – Love Sweetly
- Lavish on him. Do little things to spoil him each week like giving him a day off of household chores, allowing him “guy” time, or treating him to a favorite meal.
- Line up your schedule. Allow time in your day to just be together, to listen, and pray for and with him. I try and complete all my work for the day before Adam leaves work so we can chat on the phone on his drive home and spend time together in the evenings.
- Load up on generosity. Give him the bigger half of the sandwich, the last piece of candy, an extra few minutes of your time, or leaving the light on in the hallway so he can see at night. Act in your husband’s best interest.
The solution to staying motivated and keeping your resolutions is relationship with God, spouse, and self. This post is Part 6 of the Resolution Solutions series, Priority #1 – Loving Like Jesus.
I don’t advocate staying in an abusive relationship simply because Jesus calls you to love those who hurt you. I’m not recommending you stay in a dangerous home life situation just because we ladies are called to submit to our husbands. Marriage is about mutual submission – “submit to one another out of reverence for the Lord.” (Ephesians 5:21). Pay attention to what God calls the husbands to do after He tells the wives to submit – “Husbands, love your wives as Christ love the Church and gave Himself up for her,” (Ephesians 5:25) and “Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.” (Colossians 3:19). Physical, verbal, mental, emotional, and sexual abuse is never okay. If you are in this kind of marriage, please seek outside help!